The last two races I’ve entered in have ended in disaster – a DNF in a diamond league and a DNS in the Olympic Trials. After an embarrassing performance in New York at the Adidas Grand Prix and a heartbreaking pullout from the trials I’ve been left to mourn lost opportunities. My regret isn’t the actions I made at either one of those events, but that I didn’t take action sooner. If I had jumped in the pool at the first sign of pain instead of insisting invincibility would this have been nipped in the bud instead of ending my season?
For most of my life I’ve been a believer in diving into the swimming pool of life with irrational exuberance and soaking up each zesty opportunity that comes my way. But, that stance, at times, leaves me a little over-worked. Honestly, that stance leaves me injured each spring. I’m like that obnoxious kid in the back of class boasting knowledge of elite training philosophies, yet I haven’t passed Running Recovery 101. I have a lot to learn; I have a body I need to start listening to; I have an awesome coach I know won’t let me make the same mistake next time around.
Since leaving NY two weeks ago I’ve felt as if my heart is attached to a yoyo one of the Ethiopians I raced has been continuously playing with. DNF’ing, being placed on injured reserve, and my uncertainty of how to recover reeked havoc on my confidence, leaving me afraid I wasn’t able to race to my capabilities at the Trials before the injury pulled me off the track. But, how real is that fear? Beyond that there is the possibility of causing serious damage to my body by attempting 25 demanding laps. I went back and forth trying to decide if I should race or not. An image of speedy, Payton Jordan Allie, and fat, College Allie, were like an angel and a devil on my shoulders. The constant, differing opinions from others on what to do didn’t help either.
After spending an hour and a half in the medical tent yesterday it was pretty obvious that I’m not crazy, my body isn’t moving correctly or efficiently. My glutes, hips, and abs are weak, which is the cause of my right calf injury and left hip tightness. As positive as the doctors were at my ability to survive tonight’s race, my real goal was never to just make it from start to finish. Ultimately I let my coach make the final call. My willingness to, and the possibility of, breaking a bone to place top 6 at the Olympic Trials didn’t sit well with him. He emplaced a new rule: no running with pain. That made it painfully clear – no racing tonight.
Now it’s time to rest, recover, and rejuvenate with the love of friends and family. Good luck to all racing!